An age of opportunity

One in three babies born today will reach 100 years old. Yet, as the Early Action Task Force’s report Looking Forward to Later Life published today shows, the approach of successive Governments to our ageing population has mirrored the approach of many individuals: disjointed, head in the sand, afraid to look too far ahead.

As they grow up and grow older many of these children will use our services: between us we work on behalf of thousands of children, young people, and adults of all ages throughout the UK.

To thrive in old age they will need a supportive childhood, a great education, a well-paid career, opportunities to contribute to their communities, secure savings, a healthy lifestyle throughout life, access to good support and social networks.

And all of this before they reach old age, at which point it might be too late: it is not easy to prepare for later life when we are already old, we can just manage the consequences of what has come before.

We urge government to join us in creating a bold, ambitious, long-term vision for our ageing society. It would take in pensions and social care, but also education and housing, mental and physical health, work and volunteering.

As individuals, and as society, we must learn to look forward to later life. As the Commission on the Voluntary Sector and Ageing has said: it should be an Age of Opportunity.

Yours sincerely,

Jane Ashcroft, Chief Executive, Anchor

Geraldine Blake, Chief Executive, Community Links

Lynne Berry, Chair, Commission on the Voluntary Sector and Ageing

Stephen Burke, Director, United for All Ages

Anna Coote, Head of Social Policy, nef

Hilary Cottam,Principle Partner, Participle

Matthew Downie, Head of Campaigns & Public Affairs, Action for Children

Liz Emerson, Co-founder, Intergenerational Foundation

Sir Stuart Etherington, Chief Executive, NCVO

Rosie Ferguson, Chief Executive, London Youth

Baroness Sally Greengross, Chief Executive, ILC-UK

Javed Khan, Chief Executive, Barnardo’s

Sara Llewellin, Chief Executive, Barrow Cadbury Trust

Anne Longfield, Chief Executive, 4Children

Janet Morrison, Chief Executive, Independent Age

Professor Paul Palmer, Cass Business School, City University London

Professor Anne Power, LSE

David Robinson, Chair, Early Action Task Force

Caroline Slocock, Director, Civil Exchange

Baroness Debbie Stedman-Scott, Chief Executive, Tomorrow’s People

Read the original letter in the Guardian.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s